The leading aspirant for the Young Generation Leadership of the SLPP Mohamed Orman Bangura is not pleased with remarks made over the weekend by his Excellency the President Ernest Bai Koroma that he will not hand power over to an opposition party! This statement is very unfortunate, very destructive, and creates discord for the growth and development of our peace and democracy. I must make it known to you that you have a single vote in the next elections just like any other ordinary Sierra Leonean out here! In a country where democracy is the order of the day and not an oligarchy, monarchy or totalitarian system; as a result in such a political system the people and not one man makes the decision!
Legitimacy lies in the hands of the people and not the president! Mr. President, you remain the fountain of honor, the father of the nation, the commander-in-chief of the armed forces but let me hastily make it known that when it came to selecting you as the successor of President Kabbah, the erstwhile President did not preside over the change of power from him to you, rather he left it in the hands of democratic institutions like NEC and the people! The people voted and Christiana Thorpe who had no powers then to do what she did disenfranchised a number of voters in the SLPP stronghold which led to you mounting the podium of leadership! Mr. President, President kabbah handed over power to an opposition party not because the SLPP was tired of running the affairs of the state, not because the party had not competent men and women to execute the day-to-day affairs of the state but because he cherished the country over party, because he cherished the peace he ushered in over making this country ungovernable as u promised if you did not win! He preferred the proper functioning of democracy over a system of *selectocracy*.
This statement is very unfortunate and left me thinking you have no respect for our judgement and choice of leader in the next elections! You have made us believe no amounts of votes will give power to the opposition! You have made us apprehend that no matter what the voter does your decision will supersede theirs! We know you have supreme executive powers but trust it does not extend to selecting your replacement! That decision is ours and not for a man to make!
Mr. President it’s also unfortunate that your party youths chose to crown you Chairman of the APC party for life and you did not object or have not said anything objecting to same! This shows how you want to maintain your firm grip over the party and the person who wants to replace you! Internal democracy should be encouraged and our democracy does not creates room for a President for life or a Chairman for life! It goes contrary to the ideals of democracy which encourages leaders to be voted and if they fail to perform to be sent parking!
Mr. President one of the characteristics of a democracy is that a group of people should not be in power permanently or indefinitely for the sake of peace and the peaceful transfer of power! Your words at the APC Youth league conference left us shaken and feeling betrayed that our commander-in-chief is not ready for peace and for the advancement of our democracy.
I must bring to your notice Mr. President that the bullet is not the way out to securing political power but the ballot box! And with the use of the ballot box the majority of voters take the decision to renew mandates, or withhold mandates and not a decision for one man to make! You may have the supreme Executive authority to sack your Vice President that we voted, but trust don’t deny us of that precious right to grant entrance legitimacy to the next sect of leaders. It’s the only right left of us in a broken democracy like ours! In this democracy you have made us only relevant after every five years because of this right to vote for leaders that we will entrust our mandates in. Now that you have made it clear that you will not hand over power to an opposition but to your party shows you have disregarded this gem we all have, you have reduced us to mere voters whilst you make the choice!
*Alas! My party youths and I are poised to seeing your back and that of the APC through the ballot box come 2018 and we will do all within our reach to make this possible!* We have started marshaling the armor of votes needed to see the back of the APC and not stones or bullets! So be prepared to give in to your words and hand power to the SLPP when you and your party would have been shown the exit door!
We are also sending a strong warning to the institutions responsible for the conduct of elections that we have not taken the words of the President lying! We are also sending a strong message to the International community that we are not going to sit by and watch the APC buy or rig our elections anymore. These words of his should be taken seriously as this will be a major determinant in the next election…
The National Electoral Commission should be ready to show a high level of integrity, honesty and professionalism. They should be allowed to perform their functions free from the control of the President and his men since he has stated openly that he is not a President that will hand power to the opposition!
We all know how attempts at rigging elections have led to chaos and anarchy in places like Kenya, Burundi, and Ivory Coast.
We have seen how President Kabbah peacefully handed power to a President that now thinks he cannot hand power to an opposition! We have seen how change of power has occurred in a peaceful manner in Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria to name but a few and the peace and tranquility that accompanied the said elections! We demand free, fair, transparent and credible elections! We demand an Election that creates a level playing ground that gives the opposition like the ruling party equal chances of success in the next elections! The words of the president at Portloko guarantees not this! It shows how desperate the APC is to retain power, how desperate they are to protect ill-gotten wealth, how prepared they are to buy votes, how prepared they are to win at all costs rigging being the most obvious! For the sake of peace and the continuation of democracy we demand that the President retract and promise the rest of us that he is prepared and ready Like his predecessor to hand over power if the APC looses! We have no room for keeping in governance a failed political party! We have no room for keeping in power a political party that has pillaged our resources, run our economy dry, has not been able to provide jobs for our youths, promoted sectionalism, tribalism, cronyism and partism at the highest level! We are tired of your administration and of your party! So what’s wrong Mr. President if the people who chose you over others choose a man or woman outside your party? Please confer with John Mahawa, Yayah Jammeh, Goodluck Jonathan how they were able to handover power to an opposition!
Long Live Sierra Leone!
Long Live SLPP!
Long live democracy!